Rafael Nadal breezed to a straight sets victory over 16-year-old Darwin Blanch to reach the Madrid Open second round on Thursday as he began his farewell appearance in the Spanish capital.

The 37-year-old said this week he was not fully fit but demolished his American opponent 6-1, 6-0 in one hour and three minutes as he continues his comeback from injury.

Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, is expecting 2024 to be his final season in tennis and this his last appearance at the Madrid Open.

He made his first competitive appearance since January at the Barcelona Open last week, where he was defeated in the second round by Alex de Minaur.

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